Tag Archives: Emily’s mom

Looks Can Be Deceiving – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Salt Meets Wound”

Hanna got bored being home alone.  So, she decided to reenact a famous scene from that old movie, Rear Window.

Welcome back, my Pretties!  It’s time for another Pretty Little Recap.  Is it just me, or does this show keep getting better every week?  I mean, here we are two weeks away from the supposed reveal of “A’s” identity, and I still have NO CLUE who it is!  NONE!  And I suspect everybody . . . even YOU!

Let’s start reviewing the clues, shall we?

What do Jesus and Humpty Dumpty have in common?

When the episode begins, the Fabulous Foursome have just taken a wheelchair-bound Hanna home from the hospital.  Immediately, we see  Hanna fussing with a very large bumper sticker on her cast.  (I’m loving her flawless blue manicure, by the way.)

The bumper sticker says “Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed.”

“So TRUE!”

Of course, the nursery-rhyming sticker is meant to cover up a much more odious message, which “A” left on Hanna’s cast last week . . .

Aria snipes at Spencer for the inappropriate nature of the bumper sticker.  (Hey, at least it didn’t say “Humpty Dumpty was run over by a car.”  Because that would have just been rude!)

“Ya, think!”

(By the way, notice how Hanna has BLACK nailpolish in this scene, and LIGHT BLUE when she gets home from the hospital . . . just sayin’.)

Spencer defends her choice by saying, it was either the Humpty Dumpty bumper sticker or one that says, “Jesus is coming  .  . . look busy.”  Personally, I would have gone with Jesus . . .

With all the TOTAL crazies who are after these girls, they are going to need all the help from above they can get!

One of the girls (I can’t remember who) holds up a stuffed panda that Hanna brought home, and asks who gave it to her.  She tells the girls it’s from Lucas.  Emily thinks this is very sweet, but Hanna doesn’t seem to agree.   As for me, I just keep wondering about that EVIL bear that we saw by Hanna’s hospital bed, last week . . .

That bear is nowhere to be found.  I’m thinking it was from Sean.  So, Lucas’ panda probably ate it . . .

The Truth is in the CARBS!

Hanna sudddenly gets this MAJOR craving for Pop Tarts, which is kind of random . . . And if this was any other teen show, it would make me think she was pregnant.  So, when the rest of the girls leave the room for a second, she takes her crutch, and uses it to empty the contents of the Marin Family FORBIDDEN CARBS CABINET!  Unfortunately, Hanna never gets to eat her precious Pop Tarts, because she finds THIS on the floor . . .

It’s a box of lasagna . . . with HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS HIDDEN INSIDE!

Hanna’s not 100% sure where this money came from, but she’s thinks its probably bad news.  Us fans, on the other hand, KNOW its bad news, because we watched Hanna’s sticky fingers mother steal it from a little old lady, during the mid-season finale.  When the girls come back from wherever it was they conveniently ran off to for the last two minutes, Hanna kicks their asses out of the house.  They seem confused by her sudden rudeness, but chalk it up to her being tired, and, ultimately, leave.  Then, as if on cue, Hanna gets THIS text from “A.”

“Like Mommy, like daughter.  Can you run from the law on those legs? – A”

(I’m thinking this “clue” is going to be a pretty tough one for the writers to explain away.  I mean, any number of high school students could have learned about Hanna’s shoplifting arrest.  Teens do gossip, after all.  But for “A” to know that Ashley Marin stole that money, he or she would have had to have been in the bank with her WHILE she was doing it . . . or at least saw the wad of cash in her car, when she was driving away.  I don’t think too many of the suspects on this show had the opportunity to do either of those things.  The plot thickens!)

When Ashley Marin arrives home from a shopping spree, Hanna confronts her about the Lasagna Money.  (I sure hope they don’t end up eating those!  Who knows where that money has been?)

Rather then be embarrassed or apologetic about her behavior, Mama Marin copes with the situation, by getting extremely defensive with her daughter.  “I HID IT IN A BOX OF CARBS!  I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SAFE!”  She whines.

(Nice Mama Marin!  Way to make your daughter, WHO IS RECOVERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER, feel good about herself . . .) 

 Ever the wordsmith, Ashley describes the money as a five finger discount an “unauthorized loan,” one that she plans on paying back by the end of the year by turning tricks for Deputy Douchey and Aria’s dad.  Hanna, of course, thinks her mom’s excuse is a load of crap, as do I.  But she’s got way too much on her plate to deal with it right now . . .

“Maya eats everything!”

Sometimes, I have to wonder a bit about the writers of Pretty Little Liars, and just how purposeful their “dirty little jokes” are.  Take this scene for example, where Emily is having yet another awkward breakfast with her perpetual-stick-up-her-butt mom, and her way-nicer-than-I-thought-he-would-be military dad.  The family is discussing how Emily’s girlfriend, Maya, will be joining them for dinner that evening.  So, Emily mother asks if there is anything she should know about what Maya eats.  To this, Emily responds, “Maya eats EVERYTHING!”

I know, girls.  We can’t believe they wrote that into the script, either . . .

Source

(For those of you who don’t understand why that comment was risque, you are probably better off not knowing.) 

Anyway, the next day at school, Emily is VERY nervous about Maya coming over for dinner, and instructs her new lady love to wear a dress.  Maya jokes that she will tell Emily’s parents that she knit her dress, so as not to appear too “butch.” But Emily is not amused.  Apparently, Emily’s parents are NOT down with the gay jokes except the ones they accidentally make, involving “eating out”.  They even change the channel when Ellen comes on . . .

They must have something against dancing!

Aria, who is nearby at the time, tells Maya that if she decides to wear jeans, instead of a dress, she should definitely IRON THEM . . .

“Nice one, Aria!  Usually, Spencer and Hanna get all the funny lines, but that one was all YOU!”

Maya does end up wearing a dress to dinner, which scores her major points with Emily’s mom.  Those points disappear, however, when Maya tells Mrs. Fields (as in Emily’s mom, not the maker of the cookies) that she doesn’t eat fish seafood.

Yeah . . . I can’t defend them anymore.  The writers definitely knew what they were doing here.   That was one FISHY joke!

“But you said MAYA EATS EVERYTHING!”  Emily’s mom cries out way too loudly.  (Oh dear!  This is starting to make me feel uncomfortable.)

Maya loses more points, when she admits that her parents didn’t get married until AFTER she and her brother were born.  (GASP!)  They also used a FELT TIP MARKER to DRAW their wedding ring. (DOUBLE GASP!)  And one of them even has a TATTOO!  (OOOOHHHH NOOOO!)  Emily’s dad thinks Hippy Dippy Maya is just a plain old riot.  But Emily’s mom most certainly does not.  In fact, she leaves the room to do THIS . . .

While in the pantry, Emily’s mom spent so long, staring at jars of food, and bawling her eyes out, I half expected her to try and POISON Maya to death, by sneaking seafood into her meal.  To make matters worse, when Emily’s mom comes outside to give Maya some leftovers, she finds her and her daughter making out, HARD CORE!

I wouldn’t eat those leftovers, if I were you, Maya.  They seem . . . fishy.

After dinner, Emily’s sweet mom kindly tells Emily that (1) her dad’s leaving again at the end of the month; and (2) Emily’s relationship with Maya makes her sick to her stomach.  (Wow, the moms on this show are the BEST EVER!  One’s a thief, and the other’s a mean-spirited homophobe . . . If Aria’s mom ends up having killed Ali, I won’t be surprised.)

She is a witch, after all . . .

 Speaking of Aria . . .

She visits Fitzy, after class to tell him that it was Bushy Eyebrows Noel who “I SEE YOU””d his car, during the mid-season finale.

Aria assures Fitzy that Noel promised to keep their relationship a secret.  But Fitzy isn’t so sure . . .

His suspicions are confirmed, when Noel stops by the class later to complain about a “C” he got on his Great Gatsby paper . . .

Noel doesn’t think he deserves a “C.”  Not with all he .  . . KNOWS.  In fact, he thinks that he deserves an “A.”

Get it?  “A” . . . (hint, hint, wink wink)

Fitzy tells Aria that Bushy Eyebrows Noel is a TOTAL psycho, who is blackmailing him for grades.  Their discussion is interrupted by Super Scary Blind Jenna (more on her freakishness later), who needs Fitzy to sign something.  “Sorry to interrupt,” she snivels.

OK . . . PLL writers, the whole “Blind Girl Knows Everything” joke is getting a bit old . . .

Aria later confronts Noel about Fitzy’s allegations against him.  Noel completely denies it, assuring Aria that her illegal boyfriend is a Big Fat Liar.  What surprises me is that Aria actually considers this for a moment.  However, she then remembers a time when Ali got Noel’s girlfriend to dump him, so that he would be single for Aria (who was crushing on him at the time).

Check out “Goth” Aria, and Not-Actually-Chubby-But-Pretending-To-Be Hanna from Flashback World!

And look!  There’s Bushy Eyebrows Noel with an Elvis Presley Haircut that’s SO LAST YEAR!

“Is there some old grudge you’ve got against me and my friends?”  Aria asks, genuinely expecting an honest answer from this d-bag. 

Noel responds by . . . walking away . . . (Hmmmmm, interesting.)

 

But you know who CAN’T walk away?

Even though Creepy Toby is out on bail, he’s under house arrest.  This means he has to wear a police-locating anklet, just like Lindsay Lohan.  When Emily comes to visit him, he’s trying to CHOP IT OFF.  (Riiiight, because the cops would NEVER notice a thing like THAT!)  Emily promises that she’s not the one who turned Creepy Toby in to the cops last season.  Creepy Toby doesn’t seem to believe her, because Emily never showed any signs of believing Toby, when he promised her that he didn’t murder Ali.

After Emily leaves, Blind Jenna pops up (as she ALWAYS tends to do), thereby ensuring that this already creepy scene is about to get TEN TIMES CREEPIER!

Toby tells Jenna about how Emily said she wasn’t the one who turned him in to the cops.  “She didn’t.  I did,” says Jenna matter-of-factly.  “How did you expect to prove you were innocent, if you kept running around like a fugitive?”

Then . . . she KISSES . . . HER BROTHER . . . ON THE LIPS!

OK . . . I get that they aren’t supposed to be biologically related .  . . but STILL!

Toby makes me like him just a smidge more, when he rebuffs Blind Jenna’s advances.  (See, I didn’t even call him Creepy, this time.  Baby Steps.)  “You can chain me to this porch, and I still wouldn’t touch you again,” he growls.

Blind Jenna responds to this remark, by slapping Toby in the face, and running away.  But Toby’s got bigger fish to fry than a Scary Incest Loving Sister.  We learn toward the end of the episode, that the police found Ali’s blood on the ugly green sweater Toby lent her the night she died.  This will undoubtedly make Toby the prime suspect in Ali’s murder, in the eyes of the Rosewood Police.  In PLL viewers’ eyes though, the prospect of Toby’s being “A” and/or Ali’s murderer is becoming increasingly less likely.  (After all, he has a perfect alibi for when Hanna was hit by the car last season, seeing as he was IN JAIL at the time.)

 

“Point, Set, Match!”

Of all the Pretty Little Liars’ storylines tonight, Spencer’s was probably the least interesting.  Because Wren wasn’t in it.  BRING BACK WREN!  In her defense, she was looking ABSOLUTELY fabulous in her 1920’s inspired hat, and matching blouse.  She spent most of the episode making out with her new boyfriend notWren Alex . . .

 . . . who, though, supposedly “working class” inexplicably owns a REALLY nice sports car (see above). 

Spencer and Alex got into a bit of a fight over the fact that Alex had the opportunity to take on a fancy tennis internship  (He could GO PRO!), but prefers to stay at home and work for his uncle instead.  Over-achieving, Harvard-bound, Spencer thinks this is kind of lame.  And when Alex throws the internship application in the trash, she looks disappointed in him.

“I’m judging you.”

So, you could imagine BOTH their surprises, when Alex is notified by phone that his internship application has been submitted ELECTRONICALLY.  Alex automatically assumes Spencer went behind his back to do this, and storms off.  So, of course, precisely NO ONE is surprised when Spencer receives that Oh-So-Predictable text from “A” that says . . . wait for it . . . “Point, Set, Match . . .”

That’s OK, Hanna . . . we thought it was cheesy too.

Back at her mansion, Spencer finds all of her NEW brother-in-law, Ian’s stuff in her living room, and chats with her dad about what a huge jackass her sister decided to marry, and how bizarre the whole thing is.  (We think so too, Spencer!)  While she’s looking at Ian’s crap, she notices a set of golf clubs with a hotel tag on them Hilton Head, South Carolina . . .

She then conveniently recalls, via flashback, that Ali had the same tags on her suitcases when she returned from her “Grandma’s House” the day she died.  And since WE all know from that video tape from last season, that Ian may well have been the last person to see Ali alive . . . this all looks very suspicious, indeed .  . .

Happy “You Still Have a Spleen” Day, Hanna!

Annoying Mona decides to throw Hanna a “Welcome Back!  You are still hot, even though you don’t have a spleen” surprise party at the Marin household.  But Hanna still HAS her spleen, so Mona has to change the party’s name.  Name changes aside, Mona arrives at Hanna’s house, under the pretense of “getting her up to speed” on school.  She then acts shocked, when a random car pulls into Hanna’s driveway.  Hanna, of course, FREAKS out.  “CALL THE POLICE!”  She yelps.

“SURPRISE,” replies the ENTIRE student body of Rosewood High . . .

Hanna tries to be a good sport about this impromptu event, but it’s pretty clear she’s not having a good time.  For starters, random people (most notably BUSHY EYEBROWS NOEL) are raiding her CARBS CABINET, which, as you recall, contains her Stolen Lasagna Money.  Then there’s her lame as heck boyfriend, Sean, telling lame stories about Hanna to anybody who will listen, and making constipated monkey faces, like THIS . . .

Then there’s Lucas, who CLEARLY did not take Hanna’s gentle bedside rejection of his advances well AT ALL!  He’s getting belligerantly wasted on “jungle juice,” and making all sorts of snide (though admittedly VERY funny) comments at Boring Sean’s expense.  Eventually, Sean gets fed up, and starts to whale on the kid.  Fortunately, Bushy Eyebrows Noel breaks up the fight.  (I can’t believe I just used the words “fortunately” and “Noel” in the same sentence.) 

Hanna invites a very petulant Lucas outside to talk about his feelings . . .

“You came here to get back at me for what happened at the hospital,” Hanna tells Lucas, matter-of-factly.

“You are no different from the rest of them!” Lucas yells, despite the fact that Hanna has been NOTHING BUT NICE to him, through his hospital stalking, and recent bad behavior.  “Considering what that b*tch did to me, I should have done way worse to her!”

Hanna looks horrified.  “What did you do to Ali, Lucas?”  She asks.

Lucas then admits something we all have suspected, since last season.  He was the one who destroyed that UGLY ASS memorial fountain built in Ali’s honor.  “Dying doesn’t make you a saint,” Lucas says, by way of explanation.

But destroying this fountain makes YOU one, Lucas.  MAN, was that thing UGLY!

Lucas offers Hanna the opportunity to turn him in for his destruction of public property, but Hanna refuses.  “I’m not going to call the cops.  I think we can keep this between us,” replies Hanna.

“Please don’t make me like you.  It’s too hard,” pleaded Lucas sadly, before walking away.

(Please don’t make me like YOU, Lucas!  Because, despite everything you’ve done in the past two episodes, I still DO . . . VERY MUCH, actually!  And if you end up being “A” or Ali’s killer, that will make me REALLY upset!)

*Sigh* 

After Lucas leaves, Boring Sean comes outside to stick out his tongue and sing “Na-Na Na-Na Boo, Boo!”

But Hanna uses this opportunity to question him as to how well he really knows Bushy Eyebrows Noel, who she still suspects of being “A” and/or “Ali’s killer.”  The mere SUGGESTION that his Butt Buddy isn’t Mr. Perfect, freaks out Sean.  And he gets all huffy with Hanna.  So, Hanna, who is clearly tired of babysitting cranky baby boys, when SHE is the one nursing a serious leg injury, tells Sean to leave, and take the rest of her “party guests” with him.

While Hanna is cleaning up, she hears a noise in the house, and becomes convinced she is being attacked by “A” and/or Ali’s killer.  The poor girl is nearly in tears, when her mother gets home.  Mama Hypocrite is FURIOUS with Hanna for throwing a party (which she didn’t, by the way .  . . at least, not on purpose).  Hanna’s mom then becomes even MORE furious when she finds that someone has STOLEN her STOLEN MONEY from her!

Ashley Marin takes one of Hanna’s pain meds, before stomping off to bed.  But when Hanna opens the SAME medication, she finds a letter tucked inside . . .

“You will get your money back, if you do what I say. — Sweet Dreams, A”

In the last scene of the episode, we see a “mysterious gloved hand” (Aren’t they ALWAYS mysterious and gloved?) shoving those stolen $100 bills into an UGLY Clown Bank . . .

My prediction?  The next time we see this bank, it will be in episode 4.  And it will be THIS bank, that ultimately reveals to US (if not to the Pretty Little Liars themselves) A’s identity.

And, that was “Salt Meets Wound” in a nutshell.  Sweet Dreams!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Creepy Boys and Their Creepy Toys – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ Mid-Season Premiere “Moments Later”

Welcome back, my Pretties!  Tonight, Pretty Little Liars  kicked off the second half of its first season, with some genuinely shocking plot twists, an “outing,” a surprise wedding, and enough new suspects to fill Hanna’s perpetually too crowded hospital room.  (Seriously!  Talk about LAX SECURITY!  I half expected Deputy Douchey — who was strangely absent this week —  to peek out from under Hanna’s bed, wearing nothing but a towel, and that smug expression that comes from being the WORST DETECTIVE ON THE PLANET.)

“Hey Hanna, I know YOU were really driving the car that ran you over!  Don’t lie to me!”

And as for who “A” is . . . well, I don’t know about you, but my money is on that Creepy Teddy Bear the camera kept randomly focusing in on, at completely awkward moments.

That silly Chucky doll’s got nothing on Teddy Bear Bundy!

But, before I get started on the proper recap, can I just get one thing out of the way?

Mean Girls 2:  Electric Boogaloo?  What . . . the . . . hell?  I thought they ran these b*tches over with a bus, at the end of the first movie?

OK . . . I feel better now.  On to the recap . . .

Scenes from a Car Crash . . .

“Sheesh!  Having your daughter get run over by a car requires a whole lot of emotion!  It kind of makes me wish I eased up on all those Merry Christmas Botox treatments.  Do I look upset?  Because I’m going for an ‘upset’ look, here . . .”

It’s super appropriate that the mid-season premiere episode of Pretty Little Liars was entitled “Moments Later,” because it literally began just moments after the summer season finale left off.  (And yet, during those “moments,” all the male characters seem to have completely grown out their hair.   Weird . . .)

(That’s Seth Cohen, in case you were curious . . .)

Hanna has just been run over by a car at Mona’s lame party, to which Hanna was not invited (Worst punishment for party crashing EVER!).

She is being taken away by an ambulence, having been knocked unconscious, and rendered completely immobile . . .

Aria glances at all the shocked onlookers, and spies Bushy Eyebrows Noel.

(who’s hair has been cut, and who’s eyebrows are slightly less bushy than before)

However, her loverboy Fitzy (who she was majorly macking with in the car, just seconds earlier) is seemingly no where to be found . . .

“Sayonara SUCKAS!”

Meanwhile, Hanna’s formerly cash-strapped Mommy Dearest is guiltily driving back home, after stealing a whole wad of cash that was conveniently left in a bank safe deposit box where she works, by a little old lady.  When the cops stop her, she fears the jig is up.  She’ll be locked up FOR LIFE!  And those orange jumpsuits are going to clash with her haircolor, something FIERCE!

But no . . . the cops simply want to warn her about that whole pesky “your daughter has been in a near fatal accident” thing .  . .

“PHEW . . . oops . . . I mean . . . OH NO, I sure hope my daughter is OK! (Was that convincing?)”

Studying Hanna’s Anatomy

By the end of the first commercial break, all of our Pretty Little Liars arrive at the hospital, having come directly from the scene of the crime.  They are all chatting on their cell phones in hushed tones, presumably telling their parents what happened.  As it turns out, Hanna got pretty darn banged up in the car accident, with a broken leg and ankle, bruised ribs and a ruptured spleen.

“Hope Mama’s got some REALLLLL good health insurance!”

Oddly enough, Hanna’s future boyfriend, the always adorable Super Seth Cohen-y, Lucas seems to have arrived at the hospital first.  It’s a bit odd that no one really thought to have asked him how he found out about the accident so fast, considering, he was most certainly not at Mona’s lame party . . .  (He hates that Evil Biatch!)

(I really do hate to suspect sweet Lucas for any of the crimes committed against our girls on this show.  But you have to admit, he was acting a bit strange this week . . .   And there’s still the issue of his having “dirty shoes,” the day after Ali’s Ugly Ass Memorial Fountain was destroyed in the park, this past summer . . .)

Dirty feet = a dirty mind?

The other girls worry for all of two minutes over whether Hanna will be safe in the hospital alone over night.  (You know .  . . because someone, like, tried to kill her, and stuff.)  However, ultimately, they decide to leave her there, in order to further their own respective plotlines get some rest. 

If you thought Lucas was acting weird this week, he had NOTHING on Spencer’s b*tchy older sister, Melissa, and her freakish old / new boyfriend, Ian, who — we know from flashbacks — apparently had a real THANG for under age teens and pedophillic sex tapes, back in the day.  (So far, we have been led to believe that Ian was the last guy to see Ali alive.  He also once made out with Spencer, as most of Melissa’s boyfriends tend to do.)

Come BACK, Wren!  COME BACK!

Was I the only one who found the whole exchange between Spencer and her sister weird?  There was just something about Torrey Devitto (the actress who play’s Melissa)’s line delivery.  It kind of sounded like she already knew what had happened to Hanna, but was pretending to be all shocked and concerned, for Spencer’s sake.  And then, as if right on cue, the shirtless Adonis, Ian pops in . . .

(If you recall from the previous episode, Ian and Melissa had just had their “first date,” after a long breakup, during which Melissa had met and become engaged to HOT WREN.)  Notice how when Ian inquires, “How is she?” Melissa responds only as to Spencer’s well being, not even thinking about Hanna’s.  Is the faux pas merely evidence of natural sisterly concern?  Or something more . . .

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time THIS actress played a bat-sh*t crazy killer . . .

Believe it or not, it is Ian that corrects Melissa, by inquiring specifically as to Hanna’s well being.  And yet, how did Ian know Hanna was hurt, if HE had supposedly been screwing Melissa the entire evening, and SHE claimed not to have even been aware that the accident occurred, until Spencer told her about it?  VERRRRRRRRRRY Interesting!

“Paging, Dr. McDreamy . . .”

Meanwhile, Aria and Professor Fitzy Ezra are getting their flirt on, and worrying a bit over the incredibly lame cryptic message drawn in dew on the back window of Ezra’s car the night of Mona’s party (back when the couple was screwing like bunny rabbits, in the front seat)

You GO, Aria and Ezra!

(Now, I’m certainly no scientist.  So, maybe someone who is can help me out here.   Is “dewy mirror finger painting” really THAT visible, on a sunny day, HOURS after it was written?  Because the hearts and happy faces, I used to “draw” on car windows, backwhen I was a kid, almost always faded to dull indecipherable scratch marks, within 10 minutes of my making them. 😦   Just saying . . .)

Anyway, Ezra . . . the only member of this couple who is old enough to have actually seen I Know What You Did Last Summer . . .

. . . becomes immediately convinced that the message is a threat from someone who saw Fitzy macking on his underage student at the party.  “It says ‘I See You,’ not ‘Wash Me,’ not ‘Go Sharks’ . . . It’s very specific,” snarks Fitzy. (Haha, “WASH ME”  Oh, that Fitzy!  He’s such a little joker!) 

Aria, on the other hand, is confident that the message is nothing but some kid’s idea of a silly prank . . . at least, until she speaks to Hanna, later that day.

Sometime in the afternoon, Hanna’s mom texts the girls to tell them to come play with her daughter at the hospital.  So “cool” is Mama Marin, that she even signs the text with her first name “Ashley” as opposed to “Hanna’s mom,” which is how most PLL fans probably know her, anyway.  I swear, after that scene where Emily got the text message, I spent about 2 minutes saying, “Who the heck is Ashley?”  (Then again, this is coming from a girl who has always called ALL of her friends’ moms by Mrs. [Insert Last Name], and STILL DO.)

“Some girl named ‘Ashley’ just texted us, and said you needed company.  We thought it was another SUPER SCARY message from ‘A,’ until we remembered that’s actually your mom’s name.”

As soon as the girls are alone, Hanna makes an announcement so triumphant, that I swear I heard someone banging piano keys dramatically in the background, while she spoke *DUN . . . DUN . . . DUNNNNN*  “BUSHY EYEBROWS NOEL KAHN is ‘A.'”

YIPPEE!  I just went from being the lamer part of a love triangle to being a REAL murder suspect!  I’M OFFICIALLY AWESOME!”

What’s Hanna’s PROOF, you ask?  Well . . . she saw Noel writing on Fitzy’s CAR!  (See what the writers did there?)  This revelation, of course, forces Aria to admit to the rest of her pals that she’s boning the English teacher.  All the girls pretend to be aghast by this, but you know they are all secretly turned on (well . . . maybe not . . . Emily ;)).  “Part of me thinks it’s self-destructive behavior, but most of me just thinks it’s really hot,” admits Spencer later . . .

Spencer just got about ten times cooler, in my estimation, for saying that hilarious line.  It almost makes me want to forgive her for dumping Wren for that Alex kid . . . almost.

Aria still doesn’t think Noel is “A” (or Ali’s killer for that matter).  He may have bushy eyebrows, and be the most possessive non-boyfriend on the planet, but he’s not a murderer, she argues.  And yet, the suspect count is dwindling, at least as far as the girls are concerned.  Creepy Toby was tucked safely away in jail, on the night in question . . .

And Slutty Ian was porking Spencer’s sister (or, at least, that’s what Spencer thinks). 

So, of course, Noel has to arrive at EXACTLY this moment, carrying the LARGEST Hospital Gift Basket I have EVER SEEN.  Geez!  For someone who claims to luuuuuuve Aria, this guy sure likes to buy stuff for Hanna!  Suffice it to say that I’ve purchased those gift baskets before.  And they are NOT CHEAP!  (I just wish I had a picture of this monstrosity to post here.  For one thing, I’m really curious as to whether it was Noel or Lucas who brought Hanna the EEEEEEEVILLL Teddy Bear.)

I’ve read that Noel is supposed to be viewed as a viable lovematch for Aria.  And he’s certainly pretty enough to be one.  But, honestly, I’m having trouble being anything but creeped out by the guy.   Observe the way he comes stalking into Hanna’s room unannounced, bearing extravagant gifts, his saucer-like eyes nearly bugging out of his head.  Aria doesn’t let him inside, fibbing that Hanna just fell asleep.  Then, when Aria asks Noel about his whereabouts the night of the party, he lies through his teeth, telling her he wasn’t there. 

When Aria doesn’t call Noel back, like he asks her to at the hospital, he seeks her out in an empty classroom.  It is there that she finally calls him out on his “Car Art.”  Noel then gets WAY TOO defensive, considering he’s only dated Aria once.  He immediately assumes Ezra has been pressuring Aria into sex, and seems completely intent on pummeling the lanky English teacher like a deflated punching bag.  When Aria, more or less, admits that their relationship is a mutual one, Noel refuses to believe it.  And starts STALKING Professor Fitzy in the dark, as a result .  . . SPOOKY!

Be afraid . . . be VERY afraid, Fitzy!

As for Aria and Ezra, they shared a sappy sweet conversation in an empty classroom too!  This one was about their relationship, which, unlike Aria’s and Noel’s is actually real.  They also talked about how they don’t regret screwing one another in that dirty barroom bathroom, during the pilot episode, even though the act gave Aria crabs technically made Fitzy guilty of statutory rape . . .

Speaking of boys who are sweet (like Fitzy), but a tad on the overbearing and possessive side (like Noel) . . . I thought it was pretty darn adorable that Lucas snuck into Hanna’s hospital room late at night, while she was supposedly fast asleep (again with the NO SECURITY!), looked at her lovingly for a few moments, and blessed her forehead with a delicate little butterfly kiss . . .

Fans of The Vampire Diaries probably loved this little scene just as much as I did, as it undoubtedly reminded them of ANOTHER sweet sleepy love moment between fan favorite couple, Damon and Elena . . .

Unlike Elena, however, who had no memory of Damon’s sweetness (Elena never seems to remember ANYTHING sweet that Damon does, DAMMIT!), Hanna DID remember Lucas kissing her, but thought the lip brush might have been nothing more than a figment of her imagination . . .

To everyone’s surprise, Lucas cops to the kiss willingly, claiming that he thought Hanna was awake when he did it, and tacitly approved.  Hanna gently reminds Lucas that she has a very Snoozy Boyfriend Named Sean (who was NO WHERE to be found, in this episode, by the way), and would prefer that her and Lucas stay friends.  Lucas argues that he feels like he’s been dumped, even though he and Hanna never officially went out.  He also believes that Hanna deserves a better boyfriend than Snoozy Sean (and I AGREE). 

What I didn’t agree with, was Lucas angrily storming off, like the jealous boyfriend, he isn’t (at least not yet)Don’t get me wrong.  Lucas has every right to be frustrated.  He and Hanna have more chemistry in their pinky fingers, than Hanna and Sean have in their entire bodies . . .  And I think, eventually, these two are going to make an amazing couple!

But, considering that Lucas has never explicitly made his romantic feelings plain to Hanna before today — and that he KNOWS Hanna and Sean are dating — I’m not quite sure how exactly he expected her to react to his sudden amorous nighttime advances.  Under the circumstances, I actually thought she handled the situation quite well  . . .

“Paging Nurse Ali (and Wench Mona)”

Honestly, I don’t know which female bedside meeting Hanna experienced was more disturbing:  “Ali” — dressed in a candy striper uniform, and bathed in flowing white light — leaving telltale lipstick on Hanna’s water glass (as “ghosts” tend to do), and telling her that lies are far preferable to truths . . . 

or Annoying Mona .. .

 . . . and her Extreme Hospital Makeover, her sorry excuse for an apology for lying about Hanna having weight loss surgery, and her nauseating story about how she “fell in love” with Hanna, when the latter puked on the trampoline at a party.  Man, I HATE that friggin Mona chick! 

Granted, Ali’s a real b*tch too.  But at least SHE’S fun about it!  (Like when she said, “I really should do something about “A.”  That b*tch is getting on my nerves.”  That was AWESOME!)

In Other News .  . .

Emily came out as being gay to her dad.  Surprisingly, he was not that big of a dick about it.  He then told Emily’s mom . . .

 . . . who was a TOTAL DICK about it, especially considering that SHE already knew about her daughter’s sexuality (thanks to some very explicit photos), and was simply in denial of it . . .

Emily also tried repeatedly to get to see Toby in jail this week, by phoning the police station, and inquiring as to his whereabouts.  So far, she’s been unsuccessful.  Blind Jenna found out about this, and called Emily out for screwing Toby over, by unwittingly leading the cops to bring him in as a suspect.   Emily responds to these accusations, by calling out Jenna on SCREWING Toby .  . . period (which made me like Emily, a heck of a lot more, as a result). 

“You, Blind Brother F*&ker!”

Also, Melissa randomly eloped with Creepy Ian . . .

And, at some point, Ian (or somebody who actually gives to craps about Ian) chopped down that very special tree in the park, (the one with the inscription “Alison & Ian” on it) and burned the part of the bark containing the inscription in a fireplace  (which seems like a lot of unnecessary work to me . .  . not to mention, the environmental implications).  I mean . . . all the tree needed was a little SHAVE, and all that incriminating evidence would be HISTORY!

Pretty Little Liars version of the Yule Log . . .

And, finally “A” (whoever the heck he or she is) left a little love note on Hanna’s cast, during one of the MANY times throughout the episode that Hanna was UNCONSCIOUS and had NO SECURITY WHATSOEVER around her hospital room . . .

Clearly, the people who write for Pretty Little Liars never watched last season’s finale of Grey’s Anatomy . . .

Here’s what “A” had to say this time . . .

“Sorry about losing my temper.  My BAD . . . Love -A”

And that’s all she wrote . . . Until next week, My Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Change Your Partner, Change the Game: A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Homecoming Hangover”

To call tonight’s installment of Pretty Little Liars a “game changer” is a bit of an overstatement . . . a very cliched overstatement.  And yet, in the most literal sense of the term, that’s what “Homecoming Hangover” was.  After all, this was the episode where everything  . . . CHANGED.  Formerly “hot” romances fizzled out  . . .

I still haven’t given up hope, Wren!  COME BACK!

. . . recently broken relationships were mended, new prospective couplings blossomed, and a MAJOR suspect may very well have been taken out of commission for good.

Now that you know all of the rules have changed, what do you say we start playing the game?

“I Was Hunted Down by Creepy Toby, and All I Got Was This Lame Wrist Brace . . .”

“Thank goodness for this stylish butterfly stitch on my forehead, or you might have never known I was recently in ‘GRAVE DANGER.'”

When the episode opens, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna are still at the Homecoming Dance, searching for Emily when they find her cell phone on the ground . . . along with some broken glass . . . and BLOOD!

“I TOLD Emily she should have never chosen the theme song from The Shining as her ringtone.  That’s just asking for trouble.”

But fear not, boys and girls.  Emily is not dead . . .

 . . . She’s just out for a romantic, late night car ride . . . except, she’s all bloody . . . and unconscious . . .  and Creepy Toby is behind the wheel . . .

Now, those of you who truly believed that Toby would chop up Emily into little bite-sized pieces, and eat them with french fries, have clearly never watched an ABC Family show.  Because in the next scene, Emily is chilling in her bedroom with no injuries at all, except for what appears to be a sprained wrist, and a small, very attractive, cut on her forehead.  Then again, maybe Emily suffered some  brain internal injuries, invisible to the human eye, because she was inexplicably on bedrest for two days. 

As it turns out, Creepy Toby . . .

“That’s ME!”

 . . . merely drove Emily’s unconscious body to the hospital, dumped it near the entranceway, and skipped town on his motorcycle, faster than you could say “raving lunatic.”

The next morning, cops swarmed upon Emily’s home, inquiring as to both Toby’s whereabouts and the location of his psychological records, which seemed to have gone missing that same night (because Hanna took them). 

“Oh yeah!  I’m one Bad Ass Chica!”

At some point during the evening (not sure if it was when Toby was chasing her around the school like a mad man, or dragging her, limp unconscious body into his car), Emily decides that Toby is a “totally sweet guy . . . just misunderstood.” What a moron!  So, she comes up with the brilliant idea to lie to the cops on his behalf, by claiming that her injuries were due merely to her own clumsiness, and nothing more. 

Unfortunately for Emily (and Creepy Toby), precisely NO ONE believes her story, particularly not Emily’s mom.  In fact, Mommy Dearest sees this as a BRILLIANT opportunity to lecture the recently beat up Emily for EMBARASSING her family, by having the NERVE to go to the prom with someone SO UNCOOL!

I don’t understand, Emily.  Why can’t you just date statutory rapists in their mid twenties, like your friends do?”

While Emily is resting up in bed with her barely there injuries, she receives some visitors.  First up are Spencer and Aria, who inform Emily about Toby’s whole “Sister Sex with Blind Jenna” Thing.  Emily who has always really wanted a hot brother to screw, is not quite sure what to do with this information.  Fortunately, My New Favorite Character, Hanna, arrives next, to put things into perspective . . . . She sweetly (and wisely) tells Emily that being a Lesbian is WAY better than dating a Sister F**ker who may very well also be a Stalker / Killer, like Creepy Toby.

Third on the guest list is Blind Jenna . . .

. . . who seems to have replaced her Cane of Destruction with a Hound from Hell.  Blind Jenna’s Guide Dog was so menacing and unstable looking, that if this was a different show, I would have sworn it was Creepy Toby in werewolf form . . .

Jenna also brings cookies, which she insists that Emily eat with milk because it helps the poison in them go down easier.

Fortunately, for Emily, she has seen Snow White enough times to know that taking food from Creepy People is a Bad Idea.  So, she leaves the cookies untouched.  Upon realizing that Emily knows about Creepy Toby’s missing psych file, Blind Jenna begs her for its safe return.  Emily promises Blind Jenna that she will do everything in her power to keep the latter’s Brother F*c*ing Secret safe, by retrieving the file.  However, when Emily texts the other Pretty Little Liars regarding said promise, they have already thrown the file in the LAKE, fully in tact.  

Riiiiiight . . . because NO ONE is going to find it THERE!  Haven’t these girls ever heard of a SHREDDER?

NO!  Not THAT Shredder!  THIS Shredder . . .

Only two can keep a secret, if one of them is SHRED . . .

During this episode, Emily also wins a car . . .

and decides to make a go of it with her lady crush, Maya . . .

 . . . which I would be excited about . . . if these two weren’t the most BORING lesbian couple on the entire planet  . . .

Hanna learns the joys of YouTube . . . and Lucas

“Hey, Hanna!  I found this GREAT video where they make fun of all the girls from Pretty Little Liars.  Wanna see?”

The next day at school, Hanna has to take a makeup picture, for the yearbook, wearing her Homecoming Queen crown. Hanna’s photographer is none other than THIS GUY  . . .

 . . . no . . . actually it’s not him. 

However, OUR guy, Lucas, looks and acts JUST LIKE Seth Cohen from The O.C., which undoubtedly has a lot to do with why I like him so much.  After initially getting adorably shy and flustered around Hanna, upon seeing her once again decked out in her homecoming finest, Lucas quickly develops an easy repoire with the Queen Bee, tossing cute jokes and sarcastic quips her way, as he hones in on her with his camera lens. 

Then, unfortunately, the Boring, Quite Possibly Gay, Sean has to come and ruin everything, with his bitchy attitude and his blubbering about how Hanna ditched him at the dance.    Boo Hoo, Rich Popular Jock Boy, the world’s smallest violin is performing an entire concert in your honor . . .

Beauty and the D-Bag.

Did I mention that this A-hole couldn’t even be bothered to put on a PAIR OF PANTS, before appearing in the photo shoot?  (Then again, Sean was probably just trying to hit on Lucas, by showing him his hot dog . . .)

It’s a tough job, but SOMEONE has to be Sean’s little weiner.

 Sean ultimately throws a temper tantrum, and storms out of the room, leaving Hanna and Lucas alone to flirt with eachother.

Later, Hanna and Lucas bond over the wonderful world of YouTube, and, in particular, a video involving a Snowboarding Turkey.

Not exactly the video I would have chosen to help land ME a date.  But it seemed to work prettyh well for Lucas.  So who am I to judge?

While enjoying their YouTube, Lucas and Hanna learned that they both had something else in common: both had a bad high school nickname bestowed upon them by none other than the Now Dead Ali . . .

Lucas’ was “Herme the Hermaphodite,” because Ali didn’t like his glasses (Huh?  I don’t get it.)  Hanna was “Hefty Hanna” (Now, that one I get, at least).  Wise Lucas then asks Hanna what many Pretty Little Liars fans have undoubtedly been thinking since the start of this show.  Namely, “Why the heck did you all hang out with Ali, if she was such a b*tch?”  (Well, put Seth Cohen Lucas!)

Hanna spouts off some nonsense about Ali having a way of “making people feel special.”  However, I suspect the REAL reason for their friendship was that Ali had a way of “making people popular.”

At the end of the episode, Hanna makes up with Sean, but soon learns that HE, unlike Lucas, has NO appreciation for Snowboarding YouTube Turkeys OR Loud Music (two things which should clearly signify the death knell for ANY high school relationship).  Worry not, Sean . . . you’ll always have Jesus . . .

First Wren Leaves, Now Fitzy, What is this show coming to?

Watch with a heavy heart, as those pasty twig legs and dweeby haircut ride off into the sunset  . . . alone.

But before I get to Fitzy, there’s something else you should know about Sean.  Aside from loving Jesus, and hating Snowboarding Turkeys, he’s also a two-timing bastard.  He taught us that, when he sent a huge bouquet of flowers to his girlfriend’s best friend, Aria, in hopes that doing so would help him to get into her pantalones, pronto.  (By the way, I’m not buying Sean’s whole “abstinence thing” for a minute.   Are you?)

Say what you want about Aria, but she KNOWS bullshit when she sees it.  Suspecting that Sean is only feigning interest her to get back at Hanna for her Homecoming Dance antics, Aria calls Sean out on his behavior, extracting a heartfelt apology from him, in the process.  Aria’ is lucky that this incident blew over fast, because she REALLY doesn’t have time for any more BS in her life.  She’s already chock full.  During this episode, Aria had to deal with the trial separation of her mother and father, AND her brother’s acting out in school . . .

To further complicate matters, overnight, her lover, Ezra a.k.a. Fitzy, seemed to have went the way of Wren and Creepy Toby — having disappeared into thin air overnight (They REALLY are dropping like flies, aren’t they?  It SURE doesn’t help your employment status to have a weiner on this show!). 

Desperate for answers, Aria heads to Fitzy’s apartment, and lets herself in using the hide-a-key he has left under his welcome mat. 

REALLY, Fitzy?  A HIDE-A-KEY?  Under a WELCOME MAT?  In an APARTMENT COMPLEX?  You might has well put a sign on your door that says, “Please Rob Me!”

Anyway, soon after Aria is safely inside Fitzy’s apartment, she hears a message on his answering machine from a nearby high school.  Apparently, Fitzy is applying for a job out of town.  Aria is crushed, though I’m not exactly sure why.  If Fitzy starts teaching elsewhere, Aria and him can bone without fear of repercusion for the whole “student / teacher thing.”  Then again . . . there’s still the whole “statutory rape” thing on the table.  Fitzy can’t exactly make that one disappear, now can he?

Spencer Shish-Kabobs and Salsas into Alex’s Heart

While Aria was LOSING her OLD man (emphasis on the OLD), Spencer was digging her claws into her NEW one.  With Wren seemingly no where to be found he’s probably off shooting a pilot episode somewhere, Spencer has devoted herself wholeheartedly to getting Alex’s pants. 

 Her campaign begins in the kitchen at the country club where Spencer plays and Alex works.  Spencer barges in to apologize for her bad behavior during the Homecoming Dance.  Clearly turned on by Spencer’s persistence and agression, Alex quickly forgives her and agrees to give her another chance, provided she let HIM pick the terms of the couple’s next date.  Spencer is overjoyed.

One – Love. (Two, if you count Wren, which I STILL DO!)

Just in case you forgot what he looks like . . .

Unfortunately, on the day of the Big Date, Alex calls Spencer to cancel, claiming he has to work.  Knowing the country club is closed that day, Spencer quickly becomes convinced that she has been stood up.   So, she does what any good stalker girlfriend would do, she heads to the country club, to catch him in a lie.  Except that, the jokes on her, because, HE’S WORKING AFTER ALL!

You’ve really gotta hand it to Spencer.  Rather than leave with her tail between her legs, she insists on sticking around to help Alex skewer shish kabobs.  She even wears a HAIR NET!  Now, if that’s not love, I don’t know what is . . .

Love means never having to get your hair in the mashed potatos.

And I have to say, despite a slight tiff involving a defaced photograph of Spencer hanging in the kitchen supply closet (someone who works there is apparently not a fan), these two made a mighty cute couple.   As the pair cooked and listened to the radio, an adorably booty shaking Alex (who has a really cute butt, by the way) commandeered Spencer to participate in a surprisingly spicy salsa dance.  And while it wasn’t quite enough to make me jump ship and switch to Team Alex, it WAS fun to watch . . .

At the end of the episode, two fairly important (and spooky) things happened:

(1) Creepy Toby’s Creepy Motorbike was found mangled in the woods.   He is now believed by authorities to be dead.  This prompted the Absent- for- NEARLY – An- ENTIRE Episode, A to, text the following message to Emily:  ‘Thank you for getting Toby out of the way for me;”

(2) That weird leather jacket-wearing, black-gloved person (who must be REALLY hot wearing all those layers, by the way, seeing as it always seems to be pretty sunny in the fictional town of Rosewood) retrieved Creepy Toby’s Creepy Sister F&*king Psych Evaluation from the lake.

So, there you have it.  “Homecoming Hangover” in a nutshell.  All in all, I thought it was a pretty solid, well acted, at times, even surprising, episode.  What did you think?

 

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